Scott Cavanough continues his quest to qualify for the Mini Transat. This time it's the Mini Fastnet with Jessica Watson as co-skipper.
The fleet assembled in Douarnenez, the boxing Kangaroo flag in the background - Mini Fastnet Race
But you cannot always count on the weather to be fair, as Scott explains:
Today we had a little bit more time to prepare as the Prologue was cancelled due to the strong winds in the Bay of Douarnenez. Getting 84 out of control minis in and out of the small harbour and around a tight windward leeward race course and all back in again without hitting each other would not have happened so for the right reason the race was cancelled.
I say out of control because these small boats with ridiculous amounts of sail area in anything above 20 knots are a real handful. Yesterday it was also very nice to see a few Imoca 60's sailors wandering around the docks to check out all of the boats. The race committee has also decided to send us on the Southern course to a rounding mark off La Rochelle due to the unknown nature of the next low pressure moving into the Irish Sea. This course sending the fleet around a southern Buoy BXA has a course length of 480nm but with the weather conditions forecasted it will be a tricky race with a couple of transition zones, tidal gates, plenty of upwind and the Bay of Biscay is sure to turn things up also.
Jessica and I have now have had plenty of time in the boat together having spent the last week sailing and we also had some time sailing in Australia before the boat left, we had planned to do some racing which would have been fantastic practice as the fleet here in France is very tough but were denied the chance a couple of times. Hopefully one day Class 650 will have a presence in Australia to let these boats race in Australian waters as in this race there are two Australian entries, first is 'Skippy' with Jess and Scott and the second entry is 'Mad Spaniel' Geoff Dunham who unfortunately did some damage when he tried to put his boat on the rocks on the delivery to Douarnenez. After a tough week of repairs he will be on the start line today.
Follow Jessica and the other Aussies in the race tomorrow via the yellow brick tracking. The race starts at 1600 EST.
Most competitors are a little disappointed with the decision but the safety of everyone is paramount. We might just have to come back again next year to see the Rock I guess.
Mini Fastnet website